As many attorneys know, The Homampour Law Firm (HLF) is very selective in the cases it takes. We say “no” more than we say “yes” so that when the right case comes along we are ready to go. We are also one of the few firms in the state that have actually litigated and taken to trial what are called “bad faith” cases (or cases where an insurance company refuses to pay a policy limits demand and the injured party Plaintiff is attempting make the insurance company pay the full value of the claim which can be substantially in excess of the policy limits.)
Recently, HLF was brought in to help an attorney representing a pedestrian hit by a car, with what appeared to be minor injuries, where the driver had $1.5 million in insurance coverage.
The 41-year-old Plaintiff from El Salvador was lawfully within a crosswalk when he was struck by Defendant’s car. There was no reported loss of consciousness but abrasions to the left side of his head. X-rays, CTs and MRIs were initially normal. A subsequent MRI showed a meniscal tear in his left knee. Plaintiff reported excruciating pain in his knee and Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms. Months later, Plaintiff elected to have surgery to repair the tear. He was subsequently diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). He underwent extensive treatment for CRPS, none of which was effective. HLF recognized that Plaintiff’s life time of damages (with a condition that effectively locked him into a prison of pain) was substantially more than $1.5 million.
Defendant contended the following:
That Plaintiff was at fault for this incident since Defendant began her left turn before Plaintiff was in the crosswalk, arguing that Plaintiff should have seen her turning;
That she never saw Plaintiff get struck by her vehicle and that the impact was a minor tap;
That Plaintiff did not strike his head, did not sustain a mild TBI, and was arguably faking his TBI symptoms;
That the meniscus tear was pre-existing, unrelated to the incident, and did not necessitate surgical intervention;
That the CRPS Plaintiff developed from the surgery was not related to the incident; and
Though Defendant initially contended that Plaintiff did not have CRPS (according to their expert), later, Defendant contended that Plaintiff greatly exaggerated his CRPS symptoms.
Behind the scenes, HLF worked with the referring attorney to demand the $1.5 million in policy limits from the insurance company and to make sure the demand was legally proper to open the policy and to make the insurance company liable for the full value of the claim. The insurance company refused to pay the referring attorney’s demand for the policy limits despite multiple curated opportunities to do so and despite the fact that any reasonable insurance company acting reasonably to protect the Defendant would have recognized what HLF recognized – that an actual appraisal of Plaintiff’s harms and damages would be in the tens of millions.
Then, after being Associated in, HLF did what it does and reframed the entire case getting the defense experts to change their opinions and to basically become Plaintiff’s experts with them agreeing that:
Plaintiff sustained a meniscal tear in his left knee from the incident;
The tear required surgery;
Plaintiff developed severe CRPS as a result of the surgery;
The surgery was not performed negligently;
CRPS is incurable (especially given Plaintiff’s multiple failed treatments) and Plaintiff will likely suffer from CRPS for the rest of his life;
CRPS is one of the most chronic painful conditions known to man, to the extent someone may want to kill themselves or cut their leg off (as expressed by Plaintiff);
The pain from CRPS causes depression, anxiety, headaches, and cognitive issues similar to a brain injury; and
If asked by defense, they could have told them all of the above before the demand for policy limits expired.
We strategically planned, had patience, and executed on the plan to make the carrier pay top dollar. Defendant’s original offer was $500k. Throughout expert depositions, Defendant’s offer increased to the policy limit of $1.5 million and then again to $5 million. On the day before trial, the parties accepted the mediator’s proposal of $20 million.
Essential to this amazing result was the work of Attorney Danielle Lincors, who really knew how to deal with all the moving parts given her defense background.
The Homampour Law Firm seized this opportunity to get full justice for the client and capitalized on the insurance company’s unreasonableness and put the behemoth entity into a stranglehold forcing it to pay $20 million - and all with love. This is what we do.